Information, Communication, Decision, and Biosystems General Exams


Contact Dr. Shalabh Gupta for more details

Schedule of Exams:

The PhD General Exam will be conducted over a period of 3 days while the MS Comprehensive Exam will be conducted over a period of 2 days as described by the following schedule:

  • Day 1, 9:00 am – noon
    Two mandatory courses for both PhD and MS students:

     – ECE 5101:  Introduction to Systems Theory
     – ECE 6122:  Digital Signal Processing

  • Day 2, 9:00 am – 1:30 pm 
    Two mandatory courses for both PhD and MS students:

     – ECE 6111:  Applied Probability and Stochastic Processes
     – ECE 6439:  Estimation and Filtering Theory

        Additional one optional course for MS Comprehensive from either:

     – ECE 6151:  Communication Theory
     – ECE 6123: Advanced Signal Processing

  • Day 3, 9:00 am – 1:30 pm 
    Three optional courses for the PhD General Exam:

     – Questions from one of the following: ECE 6121, 6123, 6151, 6437, as chosen by the student, plus two additional courses of the student’s choice. These three courses could be different for different people.

Mandatory Courses for Both PhD and MS:

ECE 5101 (301) Introduction to System Theory
ECE 6122 (316) Digital Signal Processing
ECE 6111 (313) Applied Probability and Stochastic Processes
ECE 6439 (362) Estimation and Filter Theory

Exam Policies:

    1. The exams are OPEN book. No internet access is allowed.
    2. All exams for a day will be distributed at the beginning. Each subject will have a 1.5 hr duration. The recommendation for the students is (a) to dedicate 1 hr/subject and go through all of them, then (b) go back and reread/finish each of them. All exams will be collected back together at the end of total time.
    3. Passing grade policy: i. Failure in a subject: < 5; ii. Minimum overall passing average: 6.5 and no failure in any subject.
    4. Retake policy: If a student fails in 1 subject, retake only that exam next time if the average is at least 6.5. Otherwise take all the exams again next time. Failure in 2 or more subjects: full retake regardless of average.
    5. Oral exam policy: The oral exam has to be taken within 3 months after passing the written exam. 
      1. General Oral Exam: Each student has to take the oral exam with their committee. Other instructors can join if they wish. Any questions can be asked related to the courses taken by the candidate.
      2. Subject Oral Exam: A student has to take the oral exam(s) with the instructor(s) in whose subject(s) the grade was < 6.5. This exam could be combined with the General Oral Exam if agreed by the committee and the subject instructor(s) and based on their common availability.
    6. Number of attempts: A student has a maximum of 3 attempts to pass the PhD General or MS Comprehensive exam. If anyone is unable to pass in 3 attempts, then he/she will be automatically removed from the corresponding program.
    7. The problems for any subject will be different for MS Comprehensive and PhD General Exam.
    8. Any student not in the Systems Concentration but wishing to take exams from the System courses should take all those exams together; i.e., NOT to take exams separately at different times and accumulate the outputs.

    Further Notes and Admonitions:

    1. Students registered for the exam should reach the examination room 10 mins before the start time.
    2. There are some old exams available for studying. These training sets of exams are available to registered students from an online repository. They are available for personal use only, please don’t distribute them. There is no guarantee that a future exam will look anything like a past one.